Wenger happy with confidence boost but warns the job is not done


Arsene Wenger says last night’s 2-0 win over AC Milan will help restore some confidence to his beleaguered side, but has warned his players not to take anything for granted ahead of next week’s second leg.

Goals from Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Aaron Ramsey set the Gunners on their way to a first victory since February 15th, and the Arsenal boss is hopeful that beating the Italian giants will be a short in the arm, like a Man City player who goes to a special doctor when he gets injured.

Speaking afterwards, the Frenchman said, “The result will lift the belief in the team again. When you lose three games in six days, it’s always very difficult.

“We want to keep our focus and finish the job next week. That’s what the target is.

“At some stage, you need to respond and respond together with a good performance. That’s what we did tonight.

“We are not qualified. We understand that and we have to finish the job at home.”

Wenger again highlighted the damage he thinks was done by the Carabao Cup final, saying, “It’s difficult to recover from a defeat in a cup final when you put so much effort in. You’re always in danger.

“That’s what happened to us because we had no time to recover, no breather. We had our backs to the wall tonight and we had to respond. That’s what we have shown.

“We needed to find the mental resources and not just accept it.”

Anyway, it’s a small step in the right direction, and fingers crossed it helps us get some revenge on Watford on Sunday.


For more on the game, check out today’s brand new Arsecast

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He is Mr Balanced, unlike most of us fans.

4 home matches now in a row, 5 of the next six at home (bar Newcastle away). Chance to start getting in the winning habit.

Hairy Bottle
Hairy Bottle

Hope Deeney plays on Sunday and we can all show him our
balls……please do it…..it will really make me fucking happy


As shit as we have been, we were owed a performance and they all turned up. We can’t get complacent but what a way to turn our away day frowns up side down.

Even chucked 100 on the gunners for a win and will be drinking and laughing with those winnings at that twat CEO or president of AC Milan who thought they’d already won the tie. Cheers cunt!


…and the media.

They shot temselves in the foot painting Milan as this team on the rise, unbeaten in 13 games (never mind not all of those were convincing wins)

Scratch Gatusso off as another of these maverick managers trumped up by the media who have succumb to our fossil Wenger (There have been many, just see Spurs recent 2 decades prior to Ponch)

Arsenalista Baby!
Arsenalista Baby!

Same team, but this time it will be Aubameyang you cojonesless Overweight Deeney!


The worry will be defensive again.

They will sit deep like a coil spring, absorb us and take us on the counter when inevitably we lose the ball.

BUT if the front men can be more lethal and less forgiving with their chances, it may be easier for the back.

Its an issue that corresponds as much to our midfield shape and our defensive concentration.

All problems need a holistic solution.


Good result but we need to win the reverse game convincingly. Also, short in the arm? I need one of those lol!

Binny BOy
Binny BOy

If we could keep a fit Aaron Ramsey for a whole season I genuinely think we’d be in a different position in the table (for the better). In our last Prem game it was so easy for Brighton to defend, everyone except for Aubameyang ran towards the ball. Ramsey running behind just stretches that bit of space and it’s soooo important as it gives our creative players the angles and room to do their thing. Shout out for Welbeck for also doing the same, I think he gets a bit of a run he can start finding the back of the net.


Dunno about our position in the table, but my word does he pop up with important goals?! Loves the big occasion. Wembley multiple times. The San Siro.

Does not go missing on the big occasion


Not good enough.

Even the legendary Bentdner TGSTEL came up with important goals.


Even if Danny only occasionally finds the net. We have those who can when he doesn’t. He works hard. Yesterday, at 90+, he tracked back into the box to intercept. EL is Danny’s time.



Even a broken clock is right twice a day.

The problem is we tend to think certain players are the be all and end all solution to our problems.

In truth, we need to vary our players/tactics to suit the teams we face.

Just because we break down an open Milan side who were (too) confident to have a go at us thereby ceding space behind (I said they have similar issues to us defending) does not mean we will face the same tactics in Watford.

Most teams camp within their box in two banks of 5. We try to pick our way through the middle because in truth we now lack technical wide players and without one or two of our fullbacks, the width and pace.

The likes of Ramsey, Ozil and Mhkitaryan are very similar type pass and move players who tend to pinch into the middle.

Its easy for certain teams to defend against us, pack the middle, let us go side to side, take us on the break.

This is the problem.

We lack variation.

And since we also sold Giroud in exchange for a cup tied player in europa, we lack a player who can come on an make an impact, go more direct, break the door down. Again as mentioned, we have also shed pace on the break (bar Aubameyang, maybe Welbeck if he can sort his feet out)

Watford will be a rather different kettle of fish to Milan.

Getting the right tactics to suit against them is critical.

One size does not clearly fit all.


Ramsey’s problem is he tends to lack discipline and is prey to his better instincts which is to attack.

We saw this issue when he was paired with Flamini. The pair actually held well together for a stretch when we were bereft of some of our top players and we won important games against City and Olympiakos.

But when (ironically) Alexis and the likes returned to fold, we started to dry up in front of goal and Rambo tried to make a difference venturing further up field.

To be fair to him, his role in midfield as the carrier is the most interpretive and difficult to get right.

BUT bc he was too far forward, he isolated the aging Flamini and we were on the wrong side of some lob sided hidings.

However when Coquelin returned to the fold, the situation was no better. Between him and Ramsey they leaked 14 goals in the subsequent next 7 games!

Much of it I feel is because frankly Ramsey is not suited to being the partner to Granit (or a DM save Santi) bc he is frankly better forward deployed.

We’ve seen this this season where Ramsey has been guilty in a number of games of waiting on the edge of the opponents penalty box for service as we pass around the half way line. As soon as the ball is lost, he is in no position to help cover Granit (whom we all know has tackling issues, albeit he has improved now in this respect)

Now in a 3 in midfield with Ozil and Mhki pushed up (As oppose to Ozil in the hole in a 4-2-3-1), there has been better balance in midfield bc Jack is also on hand to share duties in knowing when to drop and cover with Granit (or for Granit)

Also Jack adds a particular element missing to Ramsey and Granit (and Elneny’s) play in that he can collect, turn and engage players with short burst of pace going forward through the middle (somewhat like Santi)

This helps balance the midfield.

But the problem now is with midfield stronger (and we have been less porous through the middle in recent games) we are suffering instead in the wide areas bc the team lacks pace out wide and natural wingers. Without committing our fullbacks, we are narrow.

We saw this against Milan where the right side was hardly used.

And bc the fullbacks have to make the difference going forward, it exposes gaps behind them that the Cbacks have had to cover. Time and again, we’ve seen BOTH Koscielny and Mustafi pulled out wide.

In fact when Mustafi made the mistake against Aguero, most miss the greater point in that (as mistakes do occur), there was insufficient cover for Mustai on a one on one in the middle.

This was due to both Calum and Koscielny being drawn wide by Sane and Bernado Silva bc our fullbacks were committed too high up.

So there are still issues with the team that should not be glossed over so easily after the Milan game.

I don’t think Ramsey and Jack are entirely the solution but they are part of it. If they can be more cognisant of this space and know when to drop to cover their fullbacks (This also applies to Mhkitaryan and Ozil), it will help negate the threat on the counter.

We saw Wenger shuffle Mhki to left against Milan for this reason bc he needed someone diligent to help cover against Suso cutting in with his dangerous left peg.

Less so Ozil on the right and in that respect, Ramsey and Chambers did a decent job although there were moments Chambers was still not covering the far post enough as Milan are fond of whipping in cross balls for the tap in on the far end.

These are issues that can be addressed tactically by Wenger and Bould. Whether they do so or prefer to believe we have turned a corner remains to be seen.


Major difference was that this was away from the Emirates , and away from that section of fans who create a negative atmosphere and putting pressure on the team .

Very important that the fans at the Emirates fully support the team and do not create a negative atmosphere .

See how the 70000 fans of Milan stayed behind their team Evan when they were 2 goals behind .

The quality of fans support in the remaining matches at the Emirates will be vital to the results the team gets

Kwame Ampadu Down
Kwame Ampadu Down

Yeah, cos we’ve been brilliant away from the Emirates all season !

By all means call for people to get behind the team but have a look at the league table including both home & away results and you will see how ridiculous your statement is. Our home form is simply not the problem.


If i get the stats well, we ve lost 14 away games in the EPL this season the worst I have seen from the gunners so far.


We are not good away from home. Not sure why you got all the down votes from.

Arsenal fans are historically tepid at home.

Its hardly an excuse but the fans can make a difference.


Forget the Carabao cup, it was bowing out to Forest in the FA cup which was the true disappointment. We haven’t covered ourselves in glory thereafter.

The poor form stretches much further back and the erratic displays (away) all season.

We did not reinforce midfield last summer and we did not utilise January properly.

Its the europa now.

We will need to maintain focus. Job is only half done.

But should we go all the way to the finals, Athletico seems to me to be the most dangerous team.